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NHL PLAYERS' UNION MAY GET INVOLVED IN SPAT BETWEEN THE COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS AND ZAC RINALDO

SEP 22, 2021  (8H57)      TIM TUCKER
The Columbus Blue Jackets' decision not to allow forward Zac Rinaldo at their training camp may get the NHL Players' union involved.

"Told the NHL Players' Association is reviewing the [Blue Jackets'] decision to ban forward Zac Rinaldo from attending NHL training camp because he's not vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus," said The Athletic's Aaron Portzline, who covers Columbus for the organization.

The Blue Jackets made it clear on Tuesday that Rinaldo was not welcome at the team's training camp. Whether you agree with this decision or not, the NHLPA would not be doing its job if it didn't at least investigate the situation to see if there is any recourse for the player. That's what unions are created for and paid to do.

To be clear, this decision was a Columbus one. The NHL has not said that unvaccinated players can't play. However, they are subject to travel regulations in the US and Canada. That means, for example, that unvaccinated players on teams from the US entering Canada for a road trip would have to self-isolate before being allowed in public. That ultimately means it would be pointless for them to go, and they would not be paid for any games they might miss. That said, teams that choose to allow unvaccinated players to play could still have them suit up for games at home or areas with more relaxed regulations, as long as they are following all of the regulations for unvaccinated players while not participating in club activities.

Rinaldo signed a one-year, two-way contract with Columbus over the summer, but chose not to get vaccinated against COVID-19. He recently appeared at a political rally in Ontario where he said he was not an anti-vaxxer or an anti-masker, but was pro-choice on these issues. Columbus is not the only NHL team taking a hard stance on having unvaccinated players and staff participate this season. Lou Lamoriello, GM of the New York Islanders, told reporters Tuesday that "We will not allow any player in our organization participate unless they are vaccinated." Lamoriello added that there is one minor-league player in the Islanders system who refused to get vaccinated and the plan is for that person to play elsewhere this season. For now, Columbus has told Rinaldo to report to the Cleveland Monsters training camp in the AHL.


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NHL STATS
SEASON
2021-2022GPGAPTS
CONNOR MCDAVID
56713
LEON DRAISAITL
54711
ALEXANDER OVECHKIN
55510
STEVEN STAMKOS
5459
KYLE CONNOR
5639
TYLER BERTUZZI
+3
5639
EVGENY KUZNETSOV
5459
ANZE KOPITAR
5639
JORDAN KYROU
4268
ANDREI SVECHNIKOV
4448
JESSE PULJUJARVI
5268
TIMO MEIER
+1
5358
LOGAN COUTURE
+1
5358
J.T. MILLER
6178
CONOR GARLAND
6358
BRAD MARCHAND
+2
4437
DAVID PERRON
4527
DREW DOUGHTY
4167
OLIVER BJORKSTRAND
5257
RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS
5077
  COMPLETE STATS
NHL STATS
YESTERDAY
OCTOBER 24, 2021 G A PTS
LUCAS RAYMOND
3 1 4
ROMAN JOSI
1 3 4
TYLER BERTUZZI
1 2 3
MATT DUCHENE
- 3 3
DYLAN LARKIN
- 3 3
RYAN JOHANSEN
2 - 2
JOSH BAILEY
1 1 2
DEREK FORBORT
1 1 2
FILIP FORSBERG
1 1 2
BRAD MARCHAND
1 1 2
  COMPLETE RESULTS